Humans have always been fascinated by achieving eternal life and seeking the remedy to live longer and healthier lives. While the fountain of youth is a myth, scientists and researchers have made a big step in the quest for longevity by discovering oxygen, the third most abundant element in the universe.
However, oxygen flowing in the air is different from what we are talking about, but a mix of high-pressure oxygen and other elements. One of the most promising concepts of reversing aging with high-concentration oxygen is hyperbaric oxygen therapy, involving inhaling pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber.
The treatment is widely praised for its power to heal on a cellular level, allowing the body to absorb oxygen in larger quantities and transport it to various tissues and organs. Learn about the basics of hyperbaric oxygen therapy anti-aging and how it works to increase life expectancy and longevity.
Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Reverse Aging and Increase Life Expectancy?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: A Brief Look Into the Centuries-Old Treatment
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical treatment that employs high-pressure oxygen in healing and supporting a wide range of diseases and illnesses, such as critical infections and chronic wounds. The primary mechanism of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is to increase oxygen concentration in the blood, promoting faster recovery in the tissues of the affected areas.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is simple. Patients are placed in a fiberglass chamber filled with pressurized oxygen with higher-than-normal pressure. This allows patients’ lungs to take in more oxygen 10 to 20 times while lying down or sitting in the full-body chamber.
The first documentation of oxygen therapy was dated back to the 1660s when a British physician introduced it as a good remedy for aiding digestion, infections and wound healing, respiratory disease, and pulmonary disease under the name “domicilium.”
The use of air therapy has been researched and developed extensively for the next two centuries. From enhancing wellness for Parisian elites in the 19th century to dissolving nitrogen gas in deep-sea divers, the centuries-old therapy is now famous for its ability to remedy an increasing number of illnesses and diseases. It aids in easing pain, hastening wound healing, enhancing immune function, reducing swelling and inflammation, and removing toxic substances.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: The Benefits
Oxygen is vital for life, but oxygen concentration in the air only comes to around 20.9 percent. Our brains need a lot of oxygen to function properly, so we may not receive enough oxygen. Inadequate oxygen delivery to cells and organs can be detrimental to general health, leading to body malfunctions.
Promoting healing is the most talked-about benefit of high-pressure oxygen therapy. Unlike conventional methods and treatments that target injured areas from the outside, hyperbaric oxygen therapy takes a different approach: it heals from within.
When we sustain injuries like cuts or burns, the body triggers its natural healing system to send resources to help heal the damaged tissues, resulting in a quicker recovery. Unfortunately, this mechanism does not work for people with persistent wounds caused by diabetes or radiation due to the low or blocked blood flow circulation to the damaged areas. The lack of oxygenated blood explains why their wounds are slow to heal or may not improve at all.
Based on this observation, hyperbaric oxygen therapy was developed to expose the body to higher oxygen content. As we breathe deeply in the chamber, the body absorbs significant amounts of oxygen and sends it to different body parts and tissues.
Increased oxygen intake has many remarkable results on many aspects of health. Some benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy include the following:
- Increase blood flow and circulation
- Increase oxygen to tissues and cells
- Boost white blood cell counts
- Boost collagen production
- Enhance the brain’s performance
- Promote wound healing
- Minimize the effects of harmful bacteria and pathogens
- Intensify the effectiveness of antibiotics
- Reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation
- Reduce gas buildup in the blood vessels
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy & Anti-Aging: What Is the Connection?
In addition to faster wound healing, high-pressure oxygen is known to have the ability to activate the immune system, signaling the body to heal injuries and damaged tissue. Due to this discovery, people have begun to wonder if hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the answer to the most pressing question: can it prevent aging and help humans achieve eternal life?
Let’s have a look at the basics of aging. Aging is characterized by the progressive loss of physical functions and greater vulnerability to disease and death. There are two types of aging: intrinsic and extrinsic aging.
External factors, including sun exposure, pollution, hormonal changes, poor diet, and high- stress level, are the leading causes of extrinsic aging. Conversely, intrinsic aging describes a natural aging process that we all experience at some point in our lives. As a person grows older, their body gradually slows down, reflecting in its loss of ability to heal itself and produce antioxidants to outnumber free radicals. At the cellular level of intrinsic aging, short telomeres and growing numbers of senescent cells are the two hallmarks of aging.
Telomeres are a protein-DNA structure that caps on the ends of chromosomes, maintaining genomic stability and preventing chromosomes from tangling. Despite being vital in preserving the information of the genome, telomeres gradually shorten with each cell division following the association with oxidative stress, diseases, smoking, or low physical activity, eventually causing the cell to stop reproducing and die.
Senescent cells, or zombie cells, are the phenomenon that describes a process where the cells no longer multiply but they refuse to die. Instead, these malignant cells continue to damage proliferative and stem cells, triggering chemicals that cause inflammation.
It can be understood that telomeres getting shorter and senescent cells destroying healthy cells have a role to play in people getting frailer both physically and mentally. The growing accumulation of senescent cells and shortening telomeres have been associated with an increased incidence of age-related conditions, such as diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc.
In 2020, a study from Tel Aviv University and the Shamir Medical Center discovered a ground-breaking benefit of hyperbaric oxygen in combating aging: the therapy elongates telomeres and decreases senescent cells. Thirty-five healthy participants aged 64 and older were exposed to 60 hyperbaric oxygen sessions five days a week for 90 days. After analyzing and assessing the blood samples, they found longer telomeres and fewer senescent cells. Specifically, protective telomeres grew longer at a rate of up to 38%, and the population of senescent cells was cut down by up to 37%, depending on cell type.
Despite the tremendous success in treating many conditions, many scientists and researchers have flagged precautions in interpreting the connection between aging and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, stating that shorter telomeres and fewer malfunctioning cells found after the therapy should not be demonstrated as reversing aging and erasing wrinkles and fine lines. Instead, improving damaged blood vessels and brain tissues is beneficial, preventing the body from deteriorating due to the invasion of oxidation and other harmful factors.
How Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Help With Anti Aging?
Although hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not a magic cure for setting back the biological clock, it can be denied that the therapy facilitates the body’s built-in healing system to reignite through the more significant absorption of oxygen distributed to every cell. When well-incorporated, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is the treatment that makes you feel refreshed and look better. Discover the anti-aging benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in skin rejuvenation.
- Restores the length of telomeres by up to 20%
- Improve mental clarity
- Repair aging skin texture
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Improve skin texture and complexion
- Improve recovery time
- Maintain skin elasticity
- Reduce scar formation
- Accelerate wound healing
- Reduce excessive skin damage from ultraviolet radiation
- Promote tissue regeneration with increased blood flow
- Boost collagen production